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Whale tales

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Greenpeace dumped a dead fin whale outside of the Japanese embassy in Berlin this week to protest Japanese whaling practices:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4627178.stm
The German public applauded the action.
Meanwhile, a bottle-nosed whale is trapped in the Thames
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4633376.stm
and Londoners fear it won't survive the night.

It upsets me that Japan. Norway, and Iceland are still hunting these magnificent creatures, many types of which are threatened with extinction. Moreover, modern technology (submarines, for example) is suspected of being the cause for so much beaching of whole pods.
post #2 of 19
Yes theres been a bad problem with the japanese doing this to the whales - their excuse is research!

Twice in a short amount of time, two pods of whales got beached up north of the south island, and the second one had to be shot t odeath. That was hundreds of pilot whales. It wouldn't surprise me if it was something like submarines causing them to beach, they could cause water vibrations to change and confuse the whales. It makes me so sick.
post #3 of 19
I think it's sickening that advanced 1st world countries like Norway and Japan actually want to continue whaling. There is absolutely no need for it. People simply refuse to give up their traditions and their "right" to kill these magnificent and defenceless animals. They disgust me.
post #4 of 19
It isn't just submarines, and it isn't the submarine itself that is the issue in whale beachings. Many governments are continuing to develop sonar-type systems to detect enemy vessels or objects in the ocean. As technology has become more sophisticated, countries are making their vessels in such a way that older sonar systems just won't be able to "see" them. So, the sonar has become more powerful. There is good evidence that the sonar is so loud, and travels so far, that it damages the ears of marine mammals. The result is that the whales, etc are in pain and are confused (since it is generally accepted that sound is how most marine mammals figure out depth and even direction) and end up beaching themselves. I worked with a professor in college who was actually working on this technology for the Navy, but left their employ after the data on damage to marine mammals started coming in and the Navy response was "we don't care".
post #5 of 19
That's so disheartening. Marine animals have nowhere to go.
What is our world going to be like in our children's lifetime? I imagine my nephews grown up and am sad for them for the planet they're inheriting.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi
It isn't just submarines, and it isn't the submarine itself that is the issue in whale beachings. Many governments are continuing to develop sonar-type systems to detect enemy vessels or objects in the ocean. As technology has become more sophisticated, countries are making their vessels in such a way that older sonar systems just won't be able to "see" them. So, the sonar has become more powerful. There is good evidence that the sonar is so loud, and travels so far, that it damages the ears of marine mammals. The result is that the whales, etc are in pain and are confused (since it is generally accepted that sound is how most marine mammals figure out depth and even direction) and end up beaching themselves. I worked with a professor in college who was actually working on this technology for the Navy, but left their employ after the data on damage to marine mammals started coming in and the Navy response was "we don't care".
Yes, I'm well aware of that probability, as I believe most people are, but thank you for taking the trouble to explain.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi
It isn't just submarines, and it isn't the submarine itself that is the issue in whale beachings. Many governments are continuing to develop sonar-type systems to detect enemy vessels or objects in the ocean. As technology has become more sophisticated, countries are making their vessels in such a way that older sonar systems just won't be able to "see" them. So, the sonar has become more powerful. There is good evidence that the sonar is so loud, and travels so far, that it damages the ears of marine mammals. The result is that the whales, etc are in pain and are confused (since it is generally accepted that sound is how most marine mammals figure out depth and even direction) and end up beaching themselves. I worked with a professor in college who was actually working on this technology for the Navy, but left their employ after the data on damage to marine mammals started coming in and the Navy response was "we don't care".
Wow, that is interesting! Thanks for explaining that. That is so sad!
post #8 of 19
We have had a whale in the Thames and people tried really hard to rescue it

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4635874.stm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Meanwhile, a bottle-nosed whale is trapped in the Thames
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4633376.stm
and Londoners fear it won't survive the night.
From what I just heard on the radio, they tried to rescue the whale but unfortunately the whale died.
post #10 of 19
That's such a sad ending the rescue workers did the best they could though.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p
From what I just heard on the radio, they tried to rescue the whale but unfortunately the whale died.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4635874.stm
Well, they really made an all-out effort to save it.
post #12 of 19
Oh it's died?! The last i heard this morning was that they managed to get it on the first barge.

Bless it, poor thing
post #13 of 19
The rest of the world needs to put more pressue on the countries that are still whale hunting...absolutley unneccessary!
post #14 of 19
That's such a shame that it died, poor thing.
So many whale strandings happening lately.
post #15 of 19
Oh no it died! I heard about that this morning! what did it actually die from?
I remember when a whale came up near the Fourth Road Bridge in Edinburgh and there was a similar rescue operation going on. I seem to recall it living though - it was a few years ago I can't really remember the details but it's crazy how this can happen. Where about would they have come from?
post #16 of 19
I know I'm going to get railed for this, but I don't see all that much wrong with what the Japanese are doing. They actually DO conduct research on whales and they do keep tabs on how many whales are out there in the ocean and they do conduct research on which whales are repopulating and which are not. And yes, it's true that the whales they have captured for scientific purposes does end up in restaurants...and I have eaten it on more than a few occasions.

The big debate seems to be the inability for everyone to agree on how many whales are out there and which whales are endangered. Japan has very strict laws and regulations about how they go about conducting their research and they have very strict regulations as to how many whales are killed for research purposes. Japan's argument is that the whales have repopulated the ocean and there is a need for population control. If there are too many whales, it will effect the ecosystem.

In accordance with tradition, they, of course, won't dump the carcus into the ocean. They use the whole whale, even the innards.

I think that both sides present very good points in their arguments, but it seems to me that only one side is really being heard.

Edit: I do think, that the whales the Japanese catch for research and further use, should not be caught in other nations' waters who do not approve of Japan's practices. I think that Japan really doesn't have the right to be conducting this kind of research in Australia. As for their research and further use methods as seen in the international community, I think that there should be some kind of compromise and there should be a reduction in the number of whales Japan does research on. The issue should be throughly explored and instead of just saying "no" because one culture does not like another's practices, I think there should be some honest discussion (yes, it is said that whales are endangered, but there are other studies saying they aren't). I forgot the researcher's name, but he had written a very interesting debate, yet it fell on deaf ears in the West.
post #17 of 19
I agree that it is better to eat the whale than dump it back into the ocean, but I take issue with the stance that killing 850 minke whales per year is in the best interest of science. Yes, some scientific research can be done on the dead bodies of animals, but do so many of them need to be killed?

I can understand and sympathize with "traditional" practices, but I don't think those practices can be maintained with the numbers of people that now exist. When there were hundreds of whales and fewer people, it was possible to use them as a food source. It is simply not viable to continue to rely on them as a food source now that the human population has grown so much. And it is increasingly unfair that (for instance in whale hunting) the practices which benefit a few (as it is upscale resturants that end up with the meat) deprive others of a richer life. How many children will never see a whale because others wanted to eat them?

And the idea that humpbacks and fin whales are going to be added to the hunted list surprises me. If 850 minke whales can be taken from the sea each year, then perhaps their population can sustain the culling. (I doubt it.) In another story, targeting Northern Right whales, researchers say only about 300 exist. I take just as much issue with the developers who want to build marinas on the coastline where Right whales calf as the countries who continue to hunt.

I would be very interested in knowing exactly what kind of "research" demands the mass killing of whales. As for Japan's argument that whales need "population control," I believe the whales will control themselves. There is no need for human intervention, and in the past this has traditionally screwed things up. A very interesting series by Daniel Quinn addresses the issue of overpopulation based on the amount of food that is available. If there's no food available, organisms don't breed. In addition, how can whales, which don't calf every year (I don't know the breeding cycle, but there are a few years between babies) over populate in just the few years we have been working to rejuvenate populations?
post #18 of 19
I don't know how many whales need to die in the name of research, but if there scientist still need to be killing 1000 plus a year then I think that they need to get new scientists, because the ones they have are obviously no good. I live in Australia and I cant believe that all we can do is send a stern letter to the ambassador of Japan.

Thank God for green peace.
post #19 of 19
I find it hard to believe a culture as old and sofisticated as that in Japan can still have any "research" left. Whale has been a staple diet and tradition in japan long prior to the America's were discovered.
There are rice paper diagrams of the studies of whales that are dated from the middle ages.
If Japan has not researched and learned all that it could in the 1000+ years of hunting whales
They should call it quits and try to study something else as they obvisouly cannot learn anymore.
Sample sizes of 1000+ dead whales is just insulting to any intelligent person.
I believe that Japan has studied all that they can from DEAD whales.
It should be time for them to study what they are like when they are ALIVE and not in a bun at McDonalds. (yes they do serve whale at McD's in japan.)
Its bogus propaganda to support a lifestyle and tradition. plain and simple.
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